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Title: Religious Imagination and the Counterfeit Doubles of God
Author(s): DESMOND, William
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 27    Issue: 3   Date: fall 2002   
Pages: 280-305
DOI: 10.2143/LS.27.3.941

Abstract :
Imagination has often been treated with a double attitude: on the one hand, the source of error; on the other, a source of higher truth. The first attitude we find endemic in the Western tradition, not least among philosophers whose rationalistic bent has made them deeply suspicion of imagination. The second we find increasingly to the fore in modernity, where the new epistemological credibility of imagination was raised to unprecedented levels with the Romantic turn in European culture, itself influenced very much by the understanding of imagination we find in Kant's transcendental philosophy. In some ways, the affirmative orientation of the second matches the derogatory attitude of the first: the elevation of imagination in Romanticism is the twin of the elevation of pure reason in Enlightenment. In both we tend also to find this doublet: either strong objectivity coupled with weak subjectivity; or alternatively, strong subjectivity weakening mere objectivity. One wonders to what extent the one is inseparable from the other, especially in modernity.

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